Structure for the Believers, or Believers for the Structure?
Today I've been thinking more over the whole "church" issue, and in particular the question "what is the definition of a "'local church?'". What is the difference between a "local church" and a casual gathering of people who love Jesus, seek to worship and know Him more together, and spread the gospel to those around them? At what point does this become an "official" local church? Aren't they one and the same?
I guess I'm just throwing this all out there. Obviously as any small gathering as I've just described (which, yes, I would call a church) gets bigger, more "organization" is necessary. The Bible lays out what this structure is supposed to look like, and how each believer involved is called to contribute their gifts for the benefit of it. No one is greater or less; each person is on the same plane with God, using their gifts for the church. Beautiful. This "structure" is God-ordained, and for the benefit of the believers, to equip them to glorify Him.
I guess the heart of my question is this: could one of the problems with many churches today be the unspoken mindset that the believers are here for the "structure", not the "structure" for the benefit of the believers? Is the structure too much of the focus? Is the tail wagging the dog?
Could that be the reason for the disillusionment with church that Barna describes in "Revolution"
Does that make ANY sense? Sorry for any lack of clarity; it's late. :)
Would love to hear thoughts on this.
Welcome, Baby Emma Grace!
Congrats to Mike & Diana K on the birth of their new baby girl! She just couldn't wait to get here! :)
“Don’t wait for inspiration. Get to work.” I think that makes a lot of sense. One sketch often suggests something else, so one thing leads to another. Either you start refining it with variation, or it takes you in different directions. There are days when ideas don’t come—a condition that I do not fully understand. On those days I go to other resources. I look at type books. I have a wonderful encyclopedia of typefaces. I keep a morgue of things that I like, and I think it’s why graphic designers acquire a library, because occasionally you need something that’s a catalyst to spark an idea. But to be inspired—I don’t think in those terms. It’s just a problem that I’ve got to solve."
I just found this quote in Step Inside Design magazine, a graphic design mag. Doyald Young is a 79-year-old graphic designer, who's specialty is type-face design. There's nothing worse than sitting in front of a computer screen with no ideas and a looming deadline! This guy's been at it for years, and he still has those days.
Anyway, good, practical advice for anyone involved in creative arts!
So it appears this guy (Chris Daughtry) is in a Christian rock band from NC...here is their website: http://www.absentelement.com
His pic has been taken down from the site (presumably for legal reasons with AI?) but if you listen to the songs, it's clearly his voice. Get me a copy!!!
Really, I'm not...
I was just reading over my last few posts, and wanted to say that I'm really not as discontent and cynical as they make me appear. I promise I'll write something more uplifting soon. :)
Commissioned Sales and Me
I just returned from a trip to Guitar Center, and I am stressed out. My husband can attest to this, as I returned home all flustered. That store just stresses me out...actually, the concept of "Commissioned Sales" stresses me out. I just wanted to go in there to buy some strings, maybe an inexpensive tuner, and some picks...something that should take no more than 2 minutes. However, at GC, you can't just pick out your own strings, picks and tuner. You have to have Bobby Joe (not his real name) suggest strings, picks and tuners to you, recommending what he likes best. I realize that Bobby Joe was just doing his job, but it sure is flustering (is that a word?) to someone like me. I enjoy looking at all the merchandise myself, picking out what *I* want after observing all my options, and purchasing the items on my *own* terms. In fact, when I get the feeling that someone is trying to sell me on something, it turns me off to buying it, whether or not it's a legitimately good deal. In fact, tonight I could have saved 3 dollars on purchasing 3 sets of strings instead of one, which actually would have made sense. But, no, I only bought 1 set, solely because I was annoyed that someone was trying to sell me on something. I guess it doesn't help that that store is loaded with testosterone and noise, and that the salesmen always talk to me like I just learned how to play guitar. Tonight Bobby Joe was showing me how a tuner works ("When the arrows are on this side, it means it's flat"). He was probably just being nice, but in my cynical little world, I perceived it as demeaning.
And now I'm home, feeling all guilty that I didn't help Bobby Joe's sales for the evening because I didn't buy 3 sets of strings even though it was a good deal. He's probably just trying to pay his way through college, and I had to be all crabby by saying "no" to 14 dollars more worth of product for no good reason. Now I'm feeling cynical AND guilty.
So...sorry, Bobby Joe and commissioned salesmen everywhere. I don't think I've helped your cause too much.
And maybe I need to be better friends with Musician's Friend.
Letters You'd Write If You Could...pt 1
My friend Sarah, who has worked in retail/restaurants for many years, has begun posting "letters she wishes she could write to certain customers" on her blog. In that tradition, I would like to direct the following letter to a parent I saw at the store the other day. We've all run across parents who are just plain mean to their children in public, right? Such is this kind of parent:
What a joy it was to see you and your 6 young children in the store the other day. I was especially blessed by the loud, incessent scolding of your children which you demonstrated for the entire, hour-long duration of your visit to the store. I can't imagine what example they would be following which would cause them to be so unruly. I also want to commend you for your skillful use of sarcasm and derision. As we all know, when aimed at children under 4, this kind of behavior is an effective way of conveying love and encouraging kindness. When your child asked who you were buying the tie-tack for, your response of "Who do you think would want a tie-tack in our family?!" was sheer genius. I am in awe.
If such behavior continues, I look forward to seeing what well-rounded, grounded, confident and kind children you will have in a few years.
Truly, you would have done Roseanne Barr proud.
This got me thinking about how a Christian is supposed to react when they see something like this (or much worse, which I've seen) happening in public...parents screaming at their kids (even deriding them using profanity)...or on a different level, seeing a customer being extremely rude to a store clerk (which I saw happen at Marshall Fields the other day). At what point are we supposed to step in and say something? What does love look like in that kind of situation? Thoughts?
That's where I'd like to be right now. Sigh.
This is my "digital studio", the Boss BR-532. I've had it for a couple years now, but kept hitting the wall with it, mainly because the instruction manual seems to have been written in gibberish. It's been frustrating, because I've wanted to record for so long, and I knew everything I needed to do that with was contained in this machine - but I just didn't fully know how. However, recently online I found (& ordered) an instructional DVD with step by step instructions/demonstrations on how to use it, and WOW is that helping! I'm finally starting to learn how to really put this thing to use at it's full potential! It can really do some neat things! I have much more to learn, but it's starting to seem less daunting now. I'm excited to continue learning and continue recording. Hopefully now that I'm starting to get the hang of it, the process will go a bit faster than it has been. :) I'm in the middle of one song & am looking forward to completing it & then finishing more. :)
Idol Thought for the Week...
Now he's getting mouthy. He must be stopped!
So this last weekend Mark took me out for an early birthday celebration. It was lots of fun! One of his birthday gifts to me was to bring my rings in to be sodered together...up until now my wedding band & engagement ring have been separate, which I found not only to be a little irritating (as the rings would spin around), but I found out is not so great for the metal. SO...the good news is that my rings are being sodered! The bad news is...my left ring finger is ringless for a week, which I'm not used to at ALL! Not only does it feel weird, but I never realized how much I value the statement of that ring until it's gone! I find myself wanting to tell everyone "I'm married!", not for any particular reason...just because. On top of that, while we were at the jeweler's, Mark ended up leaving HIS ring there for a week, too, so they can touch it up (note to all future wedding band buyers: brushed gold wears & will turn shiny very quickly!). So...now when we go out, neither one of us has a ring on, and I just want to tell everyone "we're not dating! We're MARRIED!!!". :) It's funny how a wedding ring is so much more than just a piece of jewelry. It symbolizes and states so much, that to go without it just throws me off. I'm super excited to get it fixed...andI can't WAIT to get my ring back on Saturday!
On another note, Mark did get me one of these bracelets:
Isn't it pretty? He put 3 charms on it to tell our story...and of course there's plenty of room to add more as the years go on. I'm pretty psyched about it! :)
This is American Idol contestant Gedeon. He may spell his name wrong (pronounced Gideon), but boy can he sing. Tuesday night he sang a version of "When a Man Loves a Woman" that could have been the original.
This is American Idol contestant Kevin Covais. He's a cute little kid, with a nice voice for a 16 year old, but...not that great. Just close your eyes while you're listening to him & see if it sounds like radio material to you.
See, didn't think so.
Tonight Gedeon got voted off the show. However, Kevin is now in the top 12. Yet he does not realize he is being patronized!!! (please see my husband's most recent xanga & insert those thoughts here). It just BUGS me, not only to see someone with legit talent not be recognized for it...but to see this poor kid get lied to!!! He CAN'T SING!!!!
Good thing it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of life. :)
(Katie & Beth, I know you hate me now :))
If you have not yet seen this, you must:
Beware of the shiny demon!
I'm not really what you'd call a sports nut, but the one sport I've ever followed is baseball, and there was no time that I followed it closer than when I was a kid in the late '80s, early '90s - the "good old days" of my favorite team, the Twins, when they were essentially defined by a certain guy named Kirby Puckett. Hearing of his death hit me in sort of an odd, personal way today. It's not that I'm one of those people who gets so overwhelmed by the death of celebrities that they fall apart and feel the need to light candles and leave memorabilia at certain landmarks...I think it's just that to me, and likely to any other kids my age growing up in Minnesota, "Kirbeeeeeee Pucket!" was a hometown hero we all felt a connection to. He was more than a really good baseball player...he was more like our older friend we all looked up to. I'm sure it had to do with his bright smile, his jovially chunky stature & his obvious enthusiasm...very kid-friendly. He sort of seemed like a kid himself, just havin' fun, playing a game he loved. And he didn't let us down! Unless you lived under a rock on October 26, 1991 (or in the case of my brother Tim, still in your mother's womb, a day away from being born, hehe :)), a moment that is imprinted in your brain is when his bat hit that ball in game 6...watching him circle the bases and pump his fists the second that ball went over the fence. I remember jumping up and down for joy! To a kid who loved the Twins, it was about the best thing that could ever happen.
And yet in spite of all the glory -- all the accolades and all the admiration -- when all was stripped away, our hero was just a human being like all of us. This became more apparent in his final years, as his once stellar reputation beccame tarnished by various accusations of misconduct. He had a soul that needed saving, and his days were numbered. Even heroes aren't immortal...well, all but One.
For me, this is a sad moment, and a sobering reminder to "make the most of every opportunity" (Ephesians 4)....
p.s. My only personal memory of Kirby is really obscure. My mom and I were in the parking lot of Southdale Square on Christmas Eve many years ago, and we could not find a spot to park, so we were just circling around in our car. Suddenly, my mom said "That's Kirby Puckett behind us!". I turned around and looked through the back window, and sure enough, Kirby Puckett was sitting behind the steering wheel of the white mini-van behind us! I can't remember if there was ever any interaction beyond that - I seem to remember him smiling and waving us on for some reason - but I thought it was pretty cool.
OK, so I've found a non-"official" blog layout that I'd like to apply to this blog, but I'm not sure how. The layout I like is from blogger-templates.blogspot.com. I tried following the directions given on the site, but they seemed confusing and pc-geared. Can anyone offer any help? It would be appreciated! Thanks! :)
It's That Day of the Year...
...when I see a person and think to myself "oh, that poor person has a large black smudge on her forehead, and she probably doesn't even realize it", but then just before I say something I remember "Oh yeah, it's Ash Wednesday".